Imaginal Disks: A Tale of Transformation

Music and lyrics by Joan McMillen
Book and lyrics by Sharmon J. Hilfinger

September 6 - 16, 2001
Mountain View Center for Performing Arts, Second Stage


Solange Hilfinger-Pardo as Franny and Kelly Balch as Doppelganger.
alt altAbout the Show

A girl on the edge of womanhood and her invisible dancing Doppelganger provoke questions about genetics, biotechnology, and education in this intimate new musical. This graceful first-time collaboration between Bay Area playwright Sharmon J. Hilfinger and composer Joan McMillen traces transformations of caterpillar to butterfly, young girl to womanhood, and thriving ecosphere to threatened habitat.

Imaginal Disks: A Tale of Transformation takes its title from a biological term describing the cells which trigger a caterpillar’s metamorphosis. The science behind this transformation captures the imagination of young Franny Turner, who usually prefers to daydream and dance with her imaginary friend Flutter-Bee. Her abysmal performance in school causes great consternation for her father Dave, who hopes Franny can pursue opportunities that her mother never had. Dave presents her with her mother’s cello, hoping to inspire his daughter. But for Franny, the cello brings anxious questions about her unknown mother that neither pragmatic Dave nor silent Flutter-Bee can answer. She turns to Ms. Eddy, her science teacher, for concrete answers to life’s mysteries. As Franny learns more science from Jane, she begins to understand the nature of her father’s work for a major seed corporation. Now her questions about her heritage extend to concerns about our future.



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Unwrapping the Cello
Unwrapping the Cello
Unwrapping the Cello
The Whole World Can Be Hers
Frannie's Doppelganger
Encourage the Rebel
Ribbons of Life
alt altMeet the Company